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National Gallery of Art Returns Picasso Work to Settle Claim  

The heirs of a Jewish banker said the portrait of a woman was among the works he sold under duress when the Nazis took power.

Newton Nurseries breaks ground on Katy location  

Houston-based KDW is handling the design and construction of the 3.5-acre nursery.

Coronavirus: Larry David addresses idiots out there who arent self-isolating yet  

'It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to stay in the house, sit on the couch and watch TV'

How We Use Our Bodies to Navigate a Pandemic   1%

Your partner is a stranger, and the sidewalk is a stage. Our dance critic asks: Will social distancing bring us back to our bodies?

After the pandemic, the BJP's vision for new India  

Unsustainable development has hit its limits. India will have to return to gram swaraj and integral humanism

New renewable energy capacity hit record levels in 2019   7%

Most new electricity globally was green and coronavirus bailouts must boost this further, says agency

Almost three-quarters of new electricity generation capacity built in 2019 uses renewable energy, representing an all-time record. New data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) shows solar, wind and other green technologies now provide more than one-third of the world’s power, marking another record.

Fossil fuel power plants are in decline in Europe and the US, with more decommissioned than built in 2019. But the number of coal and gas plants grew in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In the Middle East, which owns half the world’s oil reserves, just 26% of new electricity generation capacity built in 2019 was renewable.

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Do not write a novel about coronavirus! 8 cultural guidelines to get you through lockdown   9%

As we all follow government advice about hand-washing and social distancing, Ellie Harrison offers up some more extremely vital laws to live by

How do you celebrate a birthday or other milestones in quarantine? Just get creative  

COVID-19 has changed everything, but one thing it hasn’t done is stopped people from marking milestones — albeit in unconventional ways. Instead of a childhood superhero or princess visiting in … Click to Continue »

Their design prescription: Laid-back luxury, homeyness and warmth   -6%

This trio turned commercial, residential and fashion design experience into the Transition State firm. Next up: a line of throw pillows.

For the Uninitiated and Bored, an Introduction to the World of Gaming  

Cooped up and looking for a new form of entertainment? Consider gaming. Intimidated? We’re here to help.

Dua Lipa says she was surprised by backlash to strip club visit with Lizzo   27%

Pop star said she believes in supporting women 'in all fields of work' and 'everyone was just dancing and having fun'

Go all-out with this luxurious Israeli breakfast at home  

These are all the recipes you need to transport yourself to a Middle Eastern summer day on the beach.

British museum set to return sacred artefacts that belonged to indigenous Canadian chief  

The items include a buckskin shirt and leggings, a deer hide necklace strung with grizzly bear claws, and a hardwood bow and arrow

BDL to ask banks to set dollar rate at LL2,600 for small accounts  

Lebanon’s Central Bank will ask all commercial banks to set the price of the dollar at LL2,600 to allow customers with deposits of up to LL5 or $3,00 to withdraw their money, a source at BDL said Monday.

Coronavirus: Man who asked neighbour out using drone wears protective bubble for first date   -12%

'Just because we have to social distance doesn't mean we have to be socially distant'

Ukraine's 'railroad ladies' - in pictures   -10%

In Ukraine, the railroad traffic controller profession still exists - and about 80% of workers are women. They spend long shifts in small dedicated buildings beside the tracks. Ukrainian photographer Sasha Maslov shot portraits of female workers of the Ukrainian railway company from all over the country, which are compiled in a photo book by Osnovy Publishing.

Ukrainian Railroad Ladies is more than 50 portraits of traffic controllers and safety officers at railroads of Ukraine. This project is also an exploration of why these professions still exist in the 21st century, given the almost entire automatisation of railroad crossings in the country.

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Many Michigan gyms have stopped auto-charges during coronavirus, but not all   20%

Many gym chains including Planet Fitness and LA Fitness say they won't charge members while their buildings are closed.


You never know what will break you   -3%

You never know what will break you in a time like this, with your bones feeling hollow and your heart beating fast. It happened to me on a Sunday afternoon, when I heard Joe Diffie was dead.

How a student with his 800-pound iron lung pioneered disability rights, changed U.S. law   26%

Beginning in his teens, Ed Roberts insisted on living as normal a life as he could. He also helped others with disabilities to live better lives too.

French city of Lyon launches fashion film festival   20%

Over the last decade, fashion films have become a cinematographic sub-category in their own right. The genre raises important questions which are now being studied at art schools: are fashion films just a new form of advertising or standalone works of art? Are they the logical extension of a brand's marketing strategy or social commentary? As the birthplace of both cinema and the textile industry, the city of Lyon is launching its first fashion film festival at Lyon 2 University. FRANCE 24 went to check it out.

In our age, Robinson Crusoe may have been a reality TV star: Adventurer turns 300  

The father of individualism, a representative of capitalism or proof of the advantages of returning to nature? You make the call

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov says he will miss defence against Tony Ferguson by staying in quarantine  

Challenger called for the Dagestani to be stripped of his belt if he does not compete

Iran campaign for sanctions relief seeks to cover up negligence over coronavirus   -4%

Iran has been mounting a full-court press in recent weeks over the need for sanctions relief. This global campaign has consisted of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs lobbying allies around the world to

The Masters moved to Nov.; no word on Rocket Mortgage Classic  

The British Open has been canceled for 2020, and there is a look at the PGA TOUR schedule, as of now, including the Ryder Cup.


Empire State Building Coronavirus Tribute Rang a False Alarm, Fallon Jokes   12%

“The Tonight Show” host said New Yorkers thought the flashing red-and-white light display “meant Target finally got a shipment of toilet paper.”

Wipro, Azim Premji Foundation commit Rs 1,125 crore to tackle Covid-19 crisis   16%

These resources will help enable the dedicated medical and service fraternity in the frontline of the battle against the pandemic and in mitigating its wide-ranging human impact, particularly on the most disadvantaged of our society, as per a company statement released on Wednesday.

FAQ: When will I get my stimulus check? Who gets one? What about tax returns?   -15%

The confusion about the stimulus checks is ongoing. But the Internal Revenue Service released a few more details late Monday.


Confederate flag at Kentucky courthouse draws criticism  

A Confederate flag recently put up out outside a Kentucky courthouse is drawing criticism amid calls for its permanent removal, echoing national debate over the divisive Civil War-era symbol. Members … Click to Continue »

Zak Brown warns F1 is in a very fragile state and must continue to adapt to survive coronavirus crisis  

Brown believes up to four teams may not survive the coronavirus-forced shutdown as teams continue to lose money unless more changes are made to cut costs

Coronavirus: New York to fine people who violate social distancing rules   41%

'They're going to give people every chance to listen. And if anyone doesn't listen, then they deserve a fine at this point'

'Mask wars' risk setting back global fight against coronavirus   -17%

The cutthroat tactics of the 'mask wars' risk making the COVID-19 crisis worse for everyone. The selfishness isn’t a surprise under the circumstances, but the apparent desperation of some of the wealthiest countries on Earth is.

Parachutes guide China's rocket debris safely to earth   -5%

BEIJING, April 6 (Xinhua) -- China has been testing high-tech parachutes to control rocket debris and make space launches safer, according to the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT).

During the March 9 launch of a Long March-3B rocket carrying a satellite of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, a booster was equipped with parachutes and control devices.

After the booster separated from the rocket, the parachutes opened in a sequence to control its attitude and direction, and data of the fall trajectory and landing site were sent to ground control in Xichang, southwest China's Sichuan Province.

It shows China has achieved a breakthrough in the technology of precise positioning of rocket debris, said CALT.

It took just 25 minutes for staff to find the debris, compared to hours or up to a fortnight previously, CALT said.

China has more than 30 space launches annually in recent years, and the risk of rocket debris has aroused wide concern. Currently, residents in the fall areas are evacuated before each launch, which disrupts their lives and raises the costs and difficulties of launches.

CALT has been researching and developing grid fins and parachutes, aiming to narrow the range of the debris area by 85 percent.


The best of NHLers self-isolating: Metropolitan Division  

From staying in shape to binge watching TV, these NHLers let us know how they are passing the hours in their houses. 

The Importance of Partying Alone   5%

Dua Lipa had happy news to share, but she was crying. “I’ve been welling up a little bit over the past couple of weeks,” the popular British singer said in a shaky voice on an Instagram live-stream from what appeared to be her kitchen. “Just the uncertainty of everything, and I’ve been a little bit conflicted about whether it’s the right thing to do, because people are suffering.” She put her manicured fingers over her eyes and sharply inhaled. The next words were a whimper: “I really don’t want to do this.”

This, one could guess, meant putting out disco songs amid a deadly pandemic. In the live-stream, Lipa went on to announce that her second album, Future Nostalgia, would be released March 27, a week ahead of schedule. She smiled when she announced the change and insisted that, contrary to her tears, she really was happy to be putting out her peppy, pumping tunes. “I’m not sure if I’m even doing the right thing,” she explained, “but I think the most important thing is … we need music, and we need joy.”

Other pop stars have made different calculations. All year, Lady Gaga has been ratcheting up hype for her return to “stupid” synth-pop on Chromatica, but now she’s postponed its release indefinitely. The pop-rock group Haim also put their album plans on hold, as did the singer Sam Smith. There are business calculations to such decisions, as social distancing has disrupted the promotional circuit of interviews and concerts. There is also a deeper question: Is it okay to party in a crisis? “It just doesn’t feel right to me to release this album with all that is going on,” Gaga wrote on Instagram. Smith’s message to fans: “Imminent release doesn’t feel right.”

It’s telling to see these announcements couched in terms of emotion (“feels”) and morality (“right”). When the isolation regime first descended on many parts of America a few weeks ago, I wrote about how the crisis might change the way people hear music for a time. Songs about touch and closeness might become viscerally yuckier; exuberant sing-alongs can ruin the fragile calm of self-quarantine. Moreover, the activities music is so often used for have been snipped away. Bars, concerts, and festivals are obviously out—but so are commutes, gym routines, and offices in which background noise needed to be drowned out. Sure enough, early reports indicate that the use of services such as Spotify has fallen during social isolation, especially when it comes to pop.

Yet Lipa made a smart bet. Sweaty, sexy, silly dance songs have, in some ways, become crucial to the emerging aesthetic of isolation. Future Nostalgia is making a strong play for charts worldwide while inspiring dance videos and appreciative reviews. What’s fascinating is that Lipa hasn’t so much given fans an escape from the crisis as given them something oddly apt for it. One song’s refrain is “I should have stayed at home, ‘cuz I was doing better alone.” Another’s: “Don’t show up / don’t come out.” These tunes have been compared to the CDC guidelines; med students have turned them into PSAs; the title “Quarantine Queen” has started following Lipa around. The songs were recorded before the crisis, of course. But something in them is proving useful. Art such as hers, social isolation is making clear, has never just been for going out. It’s been for thriving in solitude.

Lipa is not the only pop artist connecting right now. “The city’s cold and empty / no one’s around to judge me,” yelps Abel Tesfaye on the first No. 1 song of the coronavirus era. With desperate lyrics about withdrawal, lack of touch, and barren streets, the Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” has now ended the reign of Roddy Ricch’s “The Box” at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. The sound of the Weeknd’s smash is not as morose as its accidentally timely themes might suggest. Rather, it surges on magma-orange synths and punk drumming. It sounds like a lost track from the Top Gun soundtrack, or something you’d hear in a 1987 step class.

Indeed, “Blinding Lights” owes much of its popularity to Richard Simmons imitations. In a hugely replicated TikTok meme set to the song, trios of friends jog into the frame and go full aerobics-core by grinning and jazz-hands-ing into the camera. The trend began in early March, and as the coronavirus crisis has worn on, it has taken on special meaning. Teens cooped up at home have taught their parents the choreography. Nurses in masks have turned in sterling renditions of it. The dancers in these videos may not stand a full six feet away from one another, but they do stand apart in a way that feels made for social-distance aesthetics. More important, with jackal smiles and twitchy foot movements, the performers’ energy seems to clash with their banal backdrops. It’s the perfect meme for a nation of people bouncing off the walls.

This era has already seen many a songwriter try to capture the stir-crazy mood in a more literal way. “Bored in the house, and I’m in the house bored” natters the rapper Curtis Roach on a hit TikTok jingle. Another emcee, Tierra Whack, put on a wig and recorded a loopy new tune called “Stuck.” Cardi B screaming about the coronavirus over a trap beat has become inescapable online. These tracks are refreshing, but one almost hopes that they not outlive their novelty factor. They don’t really provide anything but humorous validation for what we all know to be true—that isolation is a drag.

Music history has, by contrast, offered plenty of ways to recast aloneness as something other than a bummer: as independence, empowerment, or individuality. Just scan your preexisting playlists. While pop’s famous fetish for touch and make-outs often results in songs that feel frenzied and chaotic, there’s frequently purpose, dignity, and even grandeur to tracks about enlightened disconnection. (The sound I’m talking about is different—a lot more ebullient—than the chill, stay-at-home approach that has ruled pop in recent years.) Think Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” or Stevie Nicks’s “Stand Back,” or Lipa’s 2017 hit “New Rules,” or any given slice of nihilistic cheese from the new Weeknd album. These songs are exciting yet orderly, with singers and rhythm sections making a show of seeming in control. If most of the lyrics are about breakup-related singledom, the underlying assertion still applies to our current mass separation: It’s more than okay to dance on your own.

Maybe it is tacky to worry about dancing at all right now. Or maybe it’s literally a matter of public health: Anything that makes isolation bearable theoretically encourages flattening of the curve. People are rising to the challenge of turning the home into a club. Last weekend, I scrolled through my Instagram stories and saw various examples of wigs, martinis, and vacuum-cleaning conducted in high heels. It’s been a joy to check on digital parties that focus less on the DJ than on the viewers at home, vogueing and twerking in costumes and going-out getups. Often they are dancing to anthems of loneliness by Robyn or Destiny’s Child.

Entertainers may, thus, offer some help in this moment (even though many of them have simply embarrassed themselves in isolation). But they will have to adjust to the fact that, without special lighting and public stages, they will not necessarily be the center of attention. After her album came out, Dua Lipa live-streamed again from the kitchen she’d made her album announcement in. This time, she sang her new songs to acoustic tracks playing from her laptop. The effort was commendable, but the overall effect felt lonely in a sad, desolate way. She gave it one more go Monday night for the Late Late Show, singing from the same kitchen counter as before. But this time she streamed in dancers and musicians to perform simultaneously from their own isolations. The performance worked; something clicked. Lipa, like so many others now and in the past, has arrived upon a potentially lifesaving sensation: aloneness, together.

Iranian judoka tells Israeli counterpart: 'You're my best friend'   25%

Saeid Mollaei, who defected after Iranian authorities pressured him not to compete against Israeli Sagi Muki, competed on Saturday for the first time since his receiving refugee status

Your Money: Freelancers have 'perfect storm' of anxiety because of COVID-19  

The crisis posed by COVID-19 is worrisome enough for full-time employees. Imagine life as a freelancer.

Skywatch: Whats happening in the heavens in April  

For April, the ultrabright Venus dazzles you in the western heavens after dusk